It's hard to argue with a show that features tunes like "Drinkin' Shoes," "Be Good or Be Gone," "Farmer Tan" and "The Day Dolly Parton Was Almost Mine". There's really no point to a show like "Pump Boys & Dinettes" except for the down-home humor and song, and when the cast is loaded with as much energy and talent as the current Carnegie production, you can't go wrong.
The show is a musical revue for the most part, with bits of comedy thrown in the middle. Although I said it's hard to argue with a show like this, I will say that I wish it had more of a story line, but it doesn't, and doesn't suffer all that much for the lack.
The premise is that a little ways down the highway from Frog Holler is a shabby little service station with the Double Cupp Diner next door, where you can get food and gas at the same time. And the people who work there have a band.
Yeah, it's like that. And it's a hoot.
Brad Myers, a pit orchestra veteran making his first on-stage performance since high school, leads the band with hot licks on both guitar and mandolin as Jim. CCM instructor Steve Goers is the quiet lady magnet L.M., piano player and Jim's business partner. Jon Kovach rounds out the major Pump Boys on acoustic guitar and sax, and the band is augmented with a non-speaking rhythm section.
The Dinettes are Rhetta and Prudie Cupp, played by Sara Mackie and Lisa DeRoberts, who really could pass for sisters. They take the lead on a couple of tunes, both funny and touching. Their ode to "Sisters" really did bring a tear to my eye.
And you get a chance to win a prize after intermission! Who can argue with that?
- The Carnegive Visual and Performing Arts Center is located at 1028 Scott St., Covington, Ky.
- Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays.
- Tickets are $26 Adults; $23 Carnegie Members, Enjoy The Arts Members, WVXU Perks Card Members; $21 Groups of 8 or more; $19 Students.
- The Carnegie Box Office phone, 859.957.1940, is open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Tickets can also be ordered on-line.